I have always been of the opinion that Nigeria needs a hard reset. Things are not working because they are simply not built to work. At least not for the greater majority. Unfortunately, the so-called process of nation-building has been a process that most Nigerians have not participated in for the most part.
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The most pivotal decisions in our history were always made for us by a small non-descript group who took advantage to set things up to suit themselves and not the majority. It happened with the British and then the political class and then the military who have now joined heads with the political class to form the system we call democracy in Nigeria today.
A petition has been put forward by a Nigerian citizen, Adunmade Onibokun, to reform the electoral process as it is- specifically the time window for voter registrations to occur- in Nigeria. In the words of the petitioner,
“In Nigeria, preparations for the elections are an enormous logistical challenge. Voter registration in Nigeria is usually commenced few months to the General Elections and this creates many challenges for the voting populace.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as at the 11th of February, 2019, out of the 84,000,484 registered voters, over 11 million registered voters were yet to collect their PVCs, a figure that represents 13.7% of the total PVCs produced. Out of this figure, 7,817,905 PVCs were carried over from the 2014 to 2016 registration exercises, while 3,410,677 are from the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise held between April 2017 and August 2018.
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Voter registration in Nigeria should be a continuous exercise and must begin immediately in preparation for the 2023 General Elections.
As Nigerians, we should all be concerned about the integrity of the electoral process come 2023. Sign this petition for INEC to resume the Voter Registration exercise immediately, we only have about 20 months left.”
For me, the petition is a splendid idea consistent with the realizations gleaned from the #EndSARS. One of them, as I have found, is the cumbersome nature of our electoral process. From voter registration to accreditation to voting and collation, the system seems to be built to wear the greater of young voters down thus that the relatively small percentages allow for easy rigging.
Let us face it, rigging an election where a million votes were cast is far easier than rigging one were ten million voters participated in a state like Lagos for instance. If we are serious about getting involved then voting is an important part of the civic process. To get more people to vote, we must declutter the whole process which as is unnecessarily complicated.
As of the time of writing, the petition had gathered 30,000 signatures. Join the train by signing this petition here
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